Flaccid – Flaccid Paralysis Definition, Symptoms, Causes, Treatments and more


  • Definition of Flaccid.
  • Symptoms of Flaccid paralysis
  • Causes of Flaccid paralysis
  • Treatment of Flaccid paralysis

Definition of Flaccid Paralysis.


The human body is an organism made of various complex systems working together in order to ensure smooth functioning of human body. While most of the complex systems work together, there are times when various reasons cause a disturbance in the regular functions. Flaccid in a sentence is one such rising problem found among a large number of people is flaccid paralysis.

Damage done to the spinal cord or brain can also cause paralysis. The brain is said to be the master control center of the body, and if there is damage in areas that control motor function, the muscle may no longer be able to contract because the brain cannot send information to the muscle anymore we can also say in easy words “Muscle Flaccidity”. The spinal cord is, you can say, just like a highway in the body. All the messages from the brain travel through the spinal cord to get to the muscles.
Let us understand what is flaccid paralysis more clearly and various aspects related to it.

What is Flaccid Paralysis?

flaccid paralysis

Flaccid paralysis is a type of paralysis in which the contraction of muscles doesn’t take place. It can also be described as the weakening of muscles or muscle flaccidity. This is a specific type of paralysis which can turn into serious problem causing loss of muscle tone.The muscles turn autotrophic once the disease takes a chronic turn and takes a progressive onset. Flaccid paralysis can be acute or progressive or chronic depending on how quick it is diagnosed and treated.

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Flaccid paralysis also causes irregularities with problems in breathing and swallowing. If your muscles become weak and you are almost unable to move your body part, then chances are that you are going through flaccid paralysis.

Still some people are confuse what actually it is and what does flaccid mean. Imagine a computer, it keeps on working because you keep on giving him instructions to do. It only performs on the basis of your actions and instructions given. If there is no communication between you and your computer then your computer will not work. It won’t work unless you keep on giving instructions and commands to it. You are like a brain and the computer is like the muscle. If coordination ends, working and functioning end too.

Here is Short video of  “What is Flaccid Paralysis”.


Symptoms of Flaccid Paralysis:

flaccid paralysis symptoms

It is advisable to always recognize the symptoms of flaccid paralysis and immediately take the patient to an experienced professional doctor. This will help in curbing the immediate growth of flaccid paralysis and also help to improve the existing condition of the patient. The most common symptoms of flaccid paralysis are:

Slurred speech

Difficulty in swallowing

Dry mouth

Respiratory insufficiency

Drooping eyelids

Bladder dysfunction

Muscle atrophy


Diminished muscle tone


Loss of bladder control

Tingling palms and soles of the feet

Diminished muscle tone.


Any person who is constantly experiencing the symptoms mentioned above should immediately visit a doctor and seek medical help. However having any of the symptoms mentioned above does not confirms automatically that you are suffering from flaccid paralysis.

Causes of Flaccid Paralysis:

Causes of Flaccid Paralysis

Flaccid paralysis has been associated with polio. In fact, acute flaccid paralysis also known as AFP is the sign of acute polio. Polio vaccination is now available, hence polio is not very common. But once a person is affected by polio there is no cure for it. Flaccid paralysis can be caused by damage to the brain or spinal cord or by some infections and toxins. Here are 6 common causes of Flaccid Paralysis:

Anterior spinal artery syndrome


The most cause of flaccid paralysis is blockage of an anterior spinal artery, which is known as anterior spinal artery syndrome. The function of the anterior spinal artery is to supply blood to the anterior area of the spinal cord. But when a person is inflicted with anterior spinal artery syndrome, the transportation of the anterior spinal artery to the spinal cord is blocked. The causes of it could be cancer, spinal cord trauma, arterial disease.


Hyperkalemia is a situation in which the level of potassium is higher than required.
Central pontine myelinolysis
When the protective layer of the brain stem nerve cell is destroyed, it results in blocking the transmission of the nerve signal.

Hypokalemic periodic paralysis

Hypokalemic periodic paralysis is a situation in which extreme muscle weakness is detected at an adolescent or early childhood stage. It causes the inability of muscle movement.It can also be inherited. here is the treatment of Periodic paralysis.


This is an external element which can cause flaccid paralysis. Curare is actually a rare toxin usually found in Amazon rainforest. It blocks the transmission of signals from the brain resulting in prevention of muscle contraction.
Any other kind of damage caused to the brain or the spinal cord can also cause flaccid paralysis.


Any other kind of damage caused to the brain or the spinal cord can also cause flaccid paralysis.

Now You have one last question that how to overcome Flaccid and what is flaccid paralysis treatment. Don’t worry, I am going to tell you a short acute flaccid paralysis treatment.

Treatment of Flaccid Paralysis

Treatment of flaccid paralysis

The diagnoses of AFP is very diverse because many diseases can mimic symptoms and signs of poliomyelitis. The AFP surveillance system is a syndromic approach to diagnosis of poliomyelitis. Accordingly, the diagnosis reports should be mostly based on symptoms and signs of a specific involved organ system.
Once a person is detected with flaccid paralysis, a test is conducted to check if the nerve damaged causing the problem is severe or repairable. Before that, the cause of the damage is in which area is detected. The purpose of the test is to identify is the patient can recover or not. If the nerve of the patient has any kind of minute sensation, then physical therapy is started along with medication.


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